Nondual Zen Article:

Oneness’s Experience of Awakening

nondual title

Oneness’s Experience of Awakening
by Kathleen Sutherland

Descriptions of awakenings are often attempts to convey the ego's, or character's, experience of awakening. But how does awakening feel to Oneness? The character can only imagine. But it will try.

There is no seeker. That which is seeking is what is sought. God or Spirit or Oneness is seeking knowledge of itself. Where do I come in, as a person, you might ask? You are allowing Oneness to have a focused experience of itself. Through a human body with limited perception, Oneness can experience being a man or woman, with a life filled with objects and events, distributed along a timeline. Oneness does not need to reject or break free from this experience to know itself. On the contrary, it is from within these limitations that Oneness sees itself most clearly. Upon awakening, it sees the bigger picture, a much bigger picture, which it could not have seen if it hadn't first contracted into a smaller sentient being.

Oneness awakening to itself is so obvious, it laughs. How could I have believed I was other than myself? But this crystal clarity can quickly become obscured as soon as the character says, “Oh, I am Oneness!” If that character is you, then you may fall into a sense of oscillation, finding it sometimes hard to believe you are Oneness. If that character is someone else, there is a tendency to judge: Either he or she doesn't seem all that awake, or seems more awake than I am.

But when Oneness awakens, there are no other characters. There are no characters at all. And so there is no basis for comparing the relative clarity of various beings, and there is no one who needs to hold onto the awakening or fear its loss. There is only Oneness itself, having a dream. And who is Oneness? It is us - the dream characters, and everything else imaginable and beyond. This is why when we awaken from the dream, it doesn't disappear. We love movies because they are, in essence, lucid dreams. This life, upon awakening, is a lucid dream. We are all the same spirit interacting with ourselves.

This is a great relief to Oneness, who was so worried about so many things. It is freedom. Worry transforms into compassionate interest in the actors in the play. Play your role, which is to love and to learn, as best you can, and otherwise enjoy the show. You are living the dream.